April 2, 2020 Devotion
Pastor Karen Crawford
The Presbyterian Church, Coshocton, Ohio
Hear me sharing my devotion by clicking on this link:
How is today going for you? Hope everyone is well in your family. Do you need anything? Please let me know.
I had a good day yesterday—a feeling of peace in my heart that stayed with me. Looking back, I think it is because I was more focused on others most of the day, instead of thinking about my own situation or worrying. Worrying takes a lot of energy, doesn’t it? If you find yourself doing that, remind yourself that those anxious thoughts aren’t from the Lord and they aren’t good for you. And then do something to help someone else.
What did I do yesterday? My morning devotions, prayer, meals with my husband, Jim, and phone calls to members of our congregation. The funny thing was that so many of them said, “Who?” when I identified myself. Now, it could be that I have a 3-2-1 exchange and many people mistake me for a telemarketer, at first. But I think they were also surprised to hear from me because they weren’t my regular pastoral calls. They were people that God placed on my heart to call and say, “How are you? Do you need anything? Is everything OK in your family?” And, of course, I said to each one, “I miss you,” and “I look forward to when we are gathered together, once again, in worship.”
In the evening, I had a wonderful Zoom video conversation with the confirmation students and their mentors. They shared how they are feeling, as well as scriptures that are encouraging to them today. And they shared their prayer requests, which I wrote down and promised to pray for every day.
The apostle Paul wrote many letters to his churches when he was far away and sent them by personal messenger. He told them about his personal situation, which was usually difficult, to try and help them with their ministry, build up their faith, and share his affection. He always promised to pray. He wrote to churches no matter what was happening in his life. This included the numerous times that he was in prison isolated from the world and the people he loved because he shared with others about our Risen Lord.
In Philippians 1:2-6, he writes, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.”
The Scripture is still as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago in Paul’s time. We are isolated and struggling to encourage one another and build each other up in the faith. We aren’t in prison, but we don’t have the freedom of movement that we are used to. Let us keep reaching out to one another in various ways, praying for one another, and sharing God’s love and many promises, which He will be faithful to keep.
Listen again to this one: “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.” God’s not finished with us, yet. He loves us the way we are, but He loves us too much to leave us the way we are. The Lord is working in our hearts, transforming us, and in our midst as we seek to serve Him and others. Hold onto the promises of God’s Word and reach out with God’s love and compassion to your neighbor today. And may you be blessed with God’s peace and joy.
Remember, I am praying for you and thanking God for you. You are always in my heart.
Let us pray. Holy One, thank you for the promise that You who have begun a good work in and among us will bring it to completion by the day you return for your Church. Keep us focused on serving you and caring for others and not slip into worry or fear. Open our hearts to hear your voice today and respond obediently, just as your Son was always obedient to you when he came to save us from our sins. It’s in His name we pray. Amen.
Music: “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow” by Alison Krauss, The Cox Family.